[In Trade Wind Kaye's] theme is, as always, the collision between western values and native culture in remote corners of the world in the mid-19th century. But Kaye recognizes all the moral ambiguities raised by this titanic clash of alien cultures. Her narrative indicts hypocrisy, intolerance and the inability of many westerners to appreciate or understand local customs. But she carefully avoids blanket indictments or the shrill rhetoric of anti-colonialism.
For those who have read her earlier novels, particularly The Far Pavilions, an epic portrayal of colonial India, it is unnecessary to emphasize her complex moral stance. But it is important to sing the praises of M. M. Kaye for the...
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